February 14, 2021
Given the change of course that has happened in the world, we wanted to provide expert opinions on what aspiring graduates can do to start off their careers in an uncertain economic climate. We wanted to know what skills will be more important, where the economy is doing relatively well, and if there will be any lasting effects on the job market.
Companies are looking for candidates that can handle the new responsibilities of the job market. Recent graduates actually have an advantage because they are comfortable using newer technologies and have been communicating virtually their whole lives. They can take what they've learned and apply it immediately.
We spoke to professors and experts from several universities and companies to get their opinions on where the job market for recent graduates is heading, as well as how young graduates entering the industry can be adequately prepared. Here are their thoughts.
Dawn King Ph.D.: Students studying the environment should see an increase in the number of job opportunities (from public positions to private corporations and non-profit work). This was already in motion before our current federal focus on reducing greenhouse gases and social responsibility.
Dawn King Ph.D.: I find that many technical skills can be taught, so employers often look for candidates with drive and those who can demonstrate they have good time management skills. Further, employers often ask me to speak to the candidate's ability to work well independently and as part of a team.
Dawn King Ph.D.: In my opinion, a good job out of college helps the graduate build skill sets and networks toward their long-term goals. It need not be a permanent position or in the graduate's "area of expertise" to be beneficial. This could be as complex as learning new computer models or as mundane as learning what you don't want to do.